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$19 Jetstar Flights Could Help Qantas Take Off Again

Domestic flights may be as cheap as $19 in a post-pandemic world.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has suggested prices for flights on the airline’s budget carrier, Jetstar, could be slashed by half to entice passengers back on to planes after the coronavirus pandemic.

The radical plan was touted by Joyce during a Qantas investor update on Tuesday.

“For example on Melbourne-Sydney you could see Jetstar fares of $39,” he said.

“You could see $19 airfares and we will still cover our cash costs.”

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While the allure of cheap flights is promising, travellers won't be able to take advantage for at least two more moths.

Qantas has extended its suspension on most domestic and trans-Tasman flights until June, while international flights will have to wait until at least July to take off again.

"The initial easing of government restrictions suggests some domestic travel may start to return before the end of July, though initial demand levels are hard to predict," A Qantas statement said.

The airline is also allowing customers whose flights have been cancelled because of coronavirus to split travel credits across future bookings. Customers will also get more time to use the credit.

Jetstar could offer $19 domestic flights to get passengers back on planes following coronavirus. Image: AAP

Qantas said the stand-down of two-thirds of its workforce would be extended until at least the end of June.

The airline is currently operating at about five per cent of its pre-crisis domestic network and one per cent of its international network.

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The airline would have to review the size of its fleet, network and capital expenditure, Joyce said, adding "our commitment to serve communities across Australia will not change”.

"Our cash balance shows that we're in a very strong position, which under the circumstances we absolutely have to be," Joyce said.

"We don't know how long domestic and international travel restrictions will last or what demand will look like as they're gradually lifted."

A Jetstar Airbus A320 Image: Getty

With the possible exception of New Zealand, it could take years for international travel demand to return to what it was, Joyce said.